Audience discusses Israel’s creation at Step Up film series

April 19, 2013

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Criminal Justice students from ECPI attended the film with their instructor, Willie Session, Norfolk FBI assistant special agent in charge, left back row.

Criminal Justice students from ECPI attended the film with their instructor, Willie Session, Norfolk FBI assistant special agent in charge, left back row.

Israel’s history is familiar to Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg. Her mother is from the country, Mandelberg lived there as a student, and she has visited many times.

Yet, Mandelberg says she couldn’t help from saying “Wow,” as she watched the film Creation of a State, the fourth in a five-part film and discussion series presented by the Community Relations Council of the United Federation of Tidewater.

“Even though I knew the history, I was struck by what a miracle the modern state of Israel is,” Mandelberg told a crowd of 80 gathered at Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk on the evening of April 11.

Produced by JerusalemOnlineU. com, the film highlights the Jewish people’s ancient connection to the land, significant historical events that led to the creation of the nation in 1947, and its quest for survival—and peace — since that time.

Willie Session, assistant special agent in charge in Norfolk at the FBI and a Criminal Justice teacher at ECPI University, brought nine of his ECPI students to watch the film and listen to the discussion.

“This event is very enlightening for my class, to understand the world we live in and to experience the diversity of the community,” Session says.

Following the presentation of the short movie, participants discussed the current political situation and global perceptions of Israel, the plight of the Palestinian refugees, and the frustrating effort to return to the peace table for talks, and having no one on the other side wanting to negotiate peace.

“We’re doing this the old fashioned way and it’s wonderful that we’re meeting here, discussing this,” Mandelberg says. “But where the conversations really need to happen today are on Facebook and social media blogs that are reaching millions of people.”

The final film in the CRC series will be shown on Wed., May 1, at 7 pm at Congregation Beth El in Norfolk. Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz will moderate the discussion. The event is free and open to the community.

To find out more about Step up for Israel, the CRC and upcoming events, visit www.jewishva.org/crc. To see more photos from this event, “like” JewishNewsVa on Facebook.

by Laine M. Rutherford

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